Ole Miss signee Steven Jennings signs with Pittsburgh Pirates

Published 8:56 am Friday, June 23, 2017

As expected, Ole Miss’ top baseball signee is going pro.

Steven Jennings has signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates after being selected in the second round of last week’s Major League Baseball Draft. The right-hander, who was taken 42nd overall, received a signing bonus of $1.9 million, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Jennings flew to Pittsburgh this week and tweeted out a picture of him signing his contract.

Email newsletter signup

“Grateful to be a part of the @Pirates family,” Jennings tweeted. “Incredible organization!”

Jennings is one of two high school pitchers the Rebels are likely to lose to the draft as Vestavia Hills (Alabama) right-hander Caden Lemons is expected to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers after being taken four picks after Jennings. The slot value for the 46th overall pick is $1,493,500, according to Baseball America.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Jennings, who played his high school ball at Dekalb County in Tennessee, was drafted in the range he was projected as a consensus top-50 prospect, returning from a torn ACL he suffered in the fall to sit in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball this spring. The bonus for the 42nd pick was slotted at $1,635,500, but the Pirates inked Jennings at nearly $300,000 over that value.

Parkinson, Blackman gone

David Parkinson and Tate Blackman are foregoing their final season of eligibility at Ole Miss to get started on their professional careers.

Blackman, a 13th-round pick of the Chicago White Sox, is already playing rookie ball. The Rebels’ former second baseman delivered a walk-off single Thursday for the Great Falls Voyageurs, the White Sox’s advanced rookie affiliate.

Parkinson, a left-hander who was a part of the Rebels’ weekend rotation for the last two seasons, was drafted a round earlier by the Philadelphia Phillies and announced his decision in a statement through Ole Miss’ official Twitter account Thursday.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity the coaches gave me at Ole Miss and for teaching me much more than just baseball,” part of Parkinson’s statement said. “I will miss wearing that jersey in front of the best fans in college baseball and competing with the best guys I know!”